Reducing the administrative burden in 3 easy steps

Reducing the administrative burden in 3 easy steps

Too much bureaucracy burden is one of the main issues faced by UK SMEs today, according to a recent study commissioned by accountancy software giant Sage. The firm’s Sweating the Small Stuff report revealed that the average UK SME spends an average of 71 days and £35,600 on admin and other low-level tasks per year. It also approximated that nearly 6% of working time is spent on these tasks, with an implied economic loss of £39.9 billion.

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With these numbers in mind, it seems that many businesses would benefit from further guidance on how to tackle their admin workload more efficiently.

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Unfortunately, a lot of SMEs are unsure how to tackle bureaucracy burden. 40% of the businesses surveyed by Sage admitted to struggling to cut down on administrative spend. In addition to this, only 39% of the companies surveyed said they’re looking into taking up new technologies to cut down on bureaucratic costs.

The good news? There are plenty of solutions are out there for small to medium businesses.

1. Categorise your admin

As a general rule, admin functions can be split into two categories: operational and regulatory. Operational tasks involves things like recruitment or managing incoming and outgoing payments - tasks that are essential for the smooth running of a business. Regulatory admin, on the other hand, includes compulsory tasks which are legally required, such as tax returns. 

While knowing the difference between these two types of tasks won’t lower your admin spend per se, it’s a useful framework for managing and prioritising your admin workload.

2. Outsourcing to third parties

Outsourcing is a straightforward concept - pick a task that you don’t have the time or skill set to perform, and pay a third party to work on it. In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that, however it’s still an useful way of cutting down on to-do’s, so you and your staff to concentrate on the more important tasks.

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3. Digitisation

Everyday use of cloud services has become more common thanks to apps like Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox. Adopting cloud services and apps in a variety of business areas is a simple method of transforming the way you deal with admin as well as a way of cutting down on the time, effort and manual input that goes into these tasks.

What steps does your business take to minimise admin?

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What steps has your business taken to cut down on its bureaucratic burden?